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CGIA Member Spotlight: Nick Franchino

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Job: GIS Manager, Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning

Bio: I’ve worked in GIS for nearly 20 years – all with this same agency. I started as a GIS technician, doing everything from digitizing plans to editing data, including plenty of annotation placement! I have worked on many planning projects through the years, including creating land use and zoning maps for all of the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County (68 maps at various sizes and scales) to support the decision-making process. I’m very proud of the work I’ve done on the web as well. My team has created very complex GIS web mapping applications over the years to provide self help services for County staff, other agencies, and the public. I’ve also worked on five aerial imagery projects since 1998, serving as the Project Manager for the Los Angeles Region Imagery Acquisition Consortium (LARIAC) from 2006 to 2010. I’m a certified GIS Professional (GISP) and a certified planner with the American Institute of Planners (AICP).

Most of my current work includes managing a great team of GIS analysts and specialists as well as providing support for the County’s Enterprise GIS Steering Committee. Our goal is to provide excellent customer service as it relates to geospatial applications and products

Project(s): The LARIAC is my favorite project. The County is concluding its fourth iteration of the program, having acquired aerial imagery and related products in 2006, 2008, 2011, and 2014. I have been the LARIAC Outreach Manager since 2011 and strive to get as many cities and agencies to join (there are 88 cities in Los Angeles County – all with various capacities as it relates to GIS) as possible, which brings down costs and enables us to expand the types of products we acquire. My former mentor and boss, Milan Svitek, was the driving force behind the LARIAC (he conceived it and brought it to fruition) and he believed that we could acquire imagery countywide and work with all public agencies within Los Angeles County to share in the costs and spread GIS knowledge. While the program used to be primarily about acquiring aerial imagery and digital terrain datasets (and delivering it to participants on hard drives), the program has transitioned into a service delivery program for online access to these great information products. In addition to aerial imagery, LARIAC now includes building footprints, landcover analyses, viewers/analytical tools, and other specialty items.

Anything About Yourself: I like to golf and spend time with my kids – it’s pretty cool when my son wants to make a 3D map of his school in SketchUp and use some of our GIS tools in his work. I’m on LinkedIn. My department’s website has a Map Catalog, link to our Interactive Mapping Applications and to our GIS Data Portal at http://planning.lacounty.gov/gis.  Information about the LARIAC Program can be found on the project website at http://egis3.lacounty.gov/dataportal/lariac/.